Rozic Announces Legislation to Rename Donald J. Trump State Park to Heather D. Heyer State Park
New York, NY – Today, State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) announced legislation that would rename Donald J. Trump State Park to Heather D. Heyer State Park. The renaming follows the tragic loss of Heather Heyer who was struck and killed in a car attack led by James Fields Jr., one of the thousands of white supremacists who organized a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Heather Heyer’s life was taken away by white supremacists who have been emboldened ever since President Trump took office,” said Rozic. “In New York, we continue standing by one another and calling out those who seek to divide us. This activism is not new – it is embedded in our state’s history and re-naming Donald J. Trump State Park would serve as a reminder of the transformative power it holds to carry us forward.”
The “Unite the Right” rally was held on August 12th in response to the planned removal of the
Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue and unfolded in a series of violent clashes as counter protests erupted. The height of the protests occurred when a car intentionally plowed into antiracist demonstrators killing Heyer and injuring at least 19 others. Heyer was a 32-year-old paralegal from Charlottesville who actively spoke out against racism and discrimination in her community.
The Rozic bill would direct the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) to rename the park, located in Westchester and Putnam counties, to Heather D. Heyer State Park. According to the Declaration of Policy of OPRHP, state parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well-being and identity of the citizens of this state. The renaming would acknowledge that its current designation does not reflect the goals of uplifting and unifying New Yorkers.
Since President Trump’s inauguration, Rozic has worked on legislation and within the community to address the rise of racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Prior to the end of the 2017 legislation session, she passed a bill in the Assembly that would allow parents to appoint a standby guardian in the event of administrative separation. The bill was introduced in response to fears looming about U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) upping their presence in our neighborhoods. Most recently, she joined the National Association of Jewish
Legislators in urging President Trump to fill the current vacancy in the U.S. Department of State for a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism. In Queens, she has stood with community leaders to denounce anti-Semitism while working with local law enforcement to counter bias incidents.
Rozic added, “New York has always been a state that celebrates the strength in our diversity and has made it clear time and time again that hate has no place in our communities. The events that unfolded in Charlottesville and across the nation will continue being called out by Americans whose values are rooted in progress and equality.”